Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Iconic Iao Needle

We waited out the downpour in our car, but we didn't mind.  Rain!  Living in Southern California, we haven't seen the stuff in three years.  Walking up to the lookout platform and gazing at this beautiful peak in Maui, was pure joy.  All five senses were sharpened by the intensity of color and fragrance.  Raindrops moistened our skin and touched our lips.  A gentle waterfall provided music to our ears.
To think that such a heavenly place was once the site of the bloodiest battle in Hawaii should have spoiled the moment.  Oddly, it did not.
A sign was posted:  "Women and children on the mountain sides were witnesses to the clashing of wooden spears, the firing of muskets, and the roar of the cannon.  There were many slain from both armies that their bodies clogged the stream.  Thus, the battle was named Kepaniwai or "damming of the waters."

This battle took place in 1790 between the Oahu warriors and the Maui ones.  Kamehameha I won, of course, leading to the eventual unification of all the islands under his rule.

The Iao Needle is the common name for Kuka'emoku, which is the official name for this 2,250 ft. peak.  It is also known as the phallic stone of Kanaloa, the Hawaiian god of the ocean.  From the platform, I  looked back at the beautiful island of Maui.   I suspect Kanaloa might have had something to do with the outcome of that battle.  Warriors no longer stand watch on his summit.  Instead, we tourists from all over the world, come to gaze on his beauty.

And that's the way it should be.

No comments:

Post a Comment